[BL - matchday 14] BVB vs Hoffenheim
For the first time since August Borussia Dortmund have a “normal training week” with just the one match at the weekend. Even if the time between matches against Frankfurt (Sunday) and Hoffenheim (Friday) is the shortest conceivable, the team will be able to work on tactical matters during these days without any long journeys to undertake.
“We can train, work on techniques and discuss things,” said Jürgen Klopp. There are three training sessions planned before the 8.30 pm kick-off on Friday night, the last one on the morning of the match. “We can still go through some things then.”
The BVB coach outlined the dilemma that faces a tactically and technically highly skilled team (which few would disagree with) should they unexpectedly find themselves in a relegation battle. Nobody, says the coach, is blind to the situation or is unaware of how serious it is.
“I know what a relegation battle feels like”
But “a team that is used to being in a relegation battle has no footballing aspirations left,” said Klopp. “Their only function is to put up a good fight with an outstanding approach. We still feel a kind of footballing disappointment when something doesn't come off. In a relegation battle you don't need seven chances, just the one. It's not about playing the greatest game of all time, but to be successful. That requires a solid defensive performance, and in attack we'll get chances anyway. I know what a relegation battle feels like. And I've survived 98 percent of all my relegation battles, so I can pass on my experience.”
image BVB's players celebrate against Hoffenheim: Sahin and Hummels return? Sokratis is doubtful.
Many discussions are taking place and the team are under the spotlight. “As coach,” said Klopp, “I have to find out who can take the pressure and respond accordingly. That requires playing resources slowly becoming available again.” Mats Hummels may be able to play, though Sokratis looks a doubt. “We could respond, and that's what I intend to do.” The crucial question is, “Who will be the most robust?”
However, the coach added that this decision was for “right now, for this game”. And not everyone left on the bench would be there because they weren't considered “robust” enough. Only eleven players are allowed on the pitch and they have to be picked with the opposition in mind.
“Hoffenheim can kick pretty well”
TSG Hoffenheim come to Signal Iduna Park as a team in the top five in the league in terms of goals scored and clear-cut chances created. Klopp attributes them with “high quality in attack which has to be faced. Hoffenheim is a team that can kick really well.” He is expecting “lots of challenges where you have to fight for the ball, “ and sees this as positive, saying, “We will analyse our opponent, but the much bigger factor is what we do ourselves, not what our opponent is offering.”
Franz Beckenbauer would no doubt tell the lads to just go out there and play football. Jürgen Klopp said: “Friday night is high noon, we have to play football.”
Homer J. Simpson
Work time goes so slow and Moe's time goes so fast. If I worked at Moe's, would the universe collapse?